Happy Easter 2011
Chaplain Bertram Bobb
May God bless you and your loved ones as we celebrate Easter 2011, the Resurrection of our Risen Savior – the Lord Jesus Christ.
God the Father was pleased with the substitutionary death of His only Begotten Son. The third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, raised Him up from the dead. (John 3:16; Romans 8:11 NIV) The Apostle Paul wrote, “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (I Corinthians 15:17 NIV).
Jesus said in the Book of Revelation 1:18 NIV, “I am the living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! …” The grand theme of the Bible is the Lord Jesus Christ. All the blood sacrifices recorded in the Old Testament pointed to the time when Jesus Christ would come as the Lamb of God and lay down His life for the sins of the whole world when He died on the Cross. Now the New Testament looks back upon this finished work of Christ on the cross. God’s Plan of Salvation was finished at the cross, there is nothing else that can be done or be added. God the Father’s Plan of Salvation has been finished. We can only confess – agree with God – that we are sinners and trust Jesus Christ as our personal Savior. This is done by faith in His finished work. This is the only way we can come into the presence of God, and this is the only message of salvation we can preach.
After Jesus finished, God and the Father’s Plan of Salvation He went back to Heaven and one day, soon, He will return for His own. He will come for His Church.
The revelation of the Church was not granted to the Prophets in the Old Testament. The mystery hid from them was the bringing together of Jews and Gentiles into a body, the Body of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we know as the Church. By a distinct revelation of the Holy Spirit Paul understood and declared this mystery of Christ, namely that Gentiles and Jews should be fellow heirs, and of the same body (Ephesians 3:1-9)
We thank God for the New Testament which reveals to us the truth of the glorious Hope of Christ appearing for the redeemed. There is, for example, the Lord Jesus’ prediction that though He was to leave His own, He would return for them and take them to be with Himself. He said in John 14:3, “If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself that where I am, there ye may be also.”
As we read our Bible we can know that Jesus Christ is coming back and that His coming is very near. Right after the Church is taken out of this world, there will begin a time of Great Tribulation – a period of seven years when God will pour out His wrath upon this earth. Right at the beginning of this Tribulation Period the antichrist will appear.
In the Book of Revelation, in chapters 17 and 18, we have a picture of the professing church during the Tribulation Period. As we look at this picture, I believe we will come to the conclusion that the professing church today is very close to the condition that shall prevail in the professing church during the Tribulation Period.
One thing for sure, from our studies in these two chapters, chapters 17 and 18, in the Book of Revelation, in the Tribulation Period the professing church shall be based on an apostate foundation.
This apostate, false church is described as a harlot, a prostitute. Her name was “Mystery, Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots and Abominations of the Earth.” (Revelation 17:5).
I believe one of the signs of the great apostasy is the rise of false prophets around us. There are those who deny the doctrine of the Trinity, the doctrine of Grace, the Inspiration and Inerrancy of the Word of God, the Blood Atonement, the Bodily Resurrection and the Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There are those that deny that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, that He is the Son of God. The Apostle John warned the Christians of the false prophets when he wrote concerning those who denied the deity of Jesus Christ in First John 4:1-3 NIV, “Dear Friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” John continues in verse 4, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”
If the Lord Jesus Christ is coming soon, our question today is, “What kind of life should we be living?” How does the soon coming of Jesus Christ affect your life?
More than anything else, God wants us to live expecting His return. Whatever decisions we make we should make them in the light of the fact that the coming of the Lord is very near. Live expectantly. May God help us to live that kind of life.
Perhaps the greatest thing you need to realize is this, that the coming of Jesus Christ for His Church, the Rapture of the Church, will cut off forever your eternal destiny if you have not received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. You will in the words of II Thessalonians 2, be compelled to believe a lie, the lie of the antichrist.
Do you know Jesus Christ? Do you know the forgiveness of the cross and the power of Christ’s Resurrection? (Read John Chapter 20.)
Are you forgiven? Have you received new life – the Resurrection Life? Will you make your commitment to Jesus Christ today? God will help you, if you are willing.
Remember to pray for America and for our leaders. Pray for our brave men and women in service.